Gear: Cortech Vice WP Shoe Review

Gear -

By

Cortech Vice WP Shoes

You know the traditional motorcycle footwear compromise: real bike boots provide apocalypse-proof levels of protection, but make you look like a space elf. Anything less will just fly off in a crash. But these new sneakers are different, honestly managing real boot protection combined with good, casual looks. Read how in this Cortech Vice WP Shoe review.

The Gear
Styled to sorta look like a pair of Vans high tops, the Cortech Vice WPs are actually a pretty serious motorcycle boot, with a thick, sturdy sole, solid heal and toe boxes, ankle protectors and a waterproof liner.

Put them on for the first time and they’re not the comfy, light street sneakers you’d expect by looking at them. Instead, they’re very solid, locking your foot in firmly. My patented twist test, in which you grab the heel and toe and twist as hard as you can, thereby demonstrating what will happen to your foot in a crash, results in very little distortion. Despite that sturdiness, they’re comfortable both on bike and off; you could spend all day walking in these, just don’t expect quite the athletic performance of a normal sneaker.

The thermoplastic heel and toe boxes protect those parts of your feet from impacts and crushing. In a similar fashion to the Dainese Cafe Boots I also wear, round nylon cups cover your ankles. Although these Cortechs go heavier on the padding than Dainese does, providing more protection.

A waterproof bootie, made from Cortech’s own-brand of breathable membrane, surrounds the foot, as in a hiking boot. The insole is removable and replaceable, should you need more support, or just to air it out.

All-in, I’d actually rate these $95 Cortechs as more protective and more comfortable than the $260 Dainese Cafes. Two different styles of boots of course, but both are designed to work well on and off the bike. With both, I have great options for genuinely protective footwear that I can wear to virtually any off-bike occasion.

Cortech Vice WP Shoes
Cortech Vice WP Shoes

The Good
Real protection. I’d feel confident crashing a bike in these.

Good comfort, just not as good as a normal pair of sneakers.

Subdued looks; no one will know you’re wearing motorcycle boots.

Small reflective panels on the heels add visibility without going garish.

Cortech Vice WP Details
Cortech Vice WP Details

The Bad
They’re a little bigger, a little clunkier and a little goofier than a normal pair of sneakers would be. Others may not notice, but I have a hard time shaking the feeling that I’m wearing clown shoes.

The waterproof liner only goes just above the ankle, not to the top of the boot.

Two of the metal loops that hold the laces have popped out a little after just a few weeks of wear.

Cortech Vice WP Shoes
Cortech Vice WP Shoes

The Verdict
The Cortech Vice WPs wear like a work boot, protect like a motorcycle boot and look like a credible pair of sneakers. Especially considering the $95 price point, these shoes are a total home run.

Additional Information: Cortech

Related Links:
Icon’s Take On Riding Shoe: Icon Truant Boots Review
More Options: Boots You Can Wear On And Off The Bike
Bike Gear Explained: A Beginner’s Guide To Motorcycle Gear

  • jefflev

    They may be good boots, but i think we all know this was just an obvious and transparent attempt to get Wiley on the site.

    • bammerburn

      Nothing wrong with that.

  • Rowtag

    these or ICON´s Truant boots??????????????

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      These are $100 cheaper, but aren’t going to vent like the Truants because these are waterproof.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      i tried them on when Wes got them in and prefer the Truant’s.

    • contender

      The Truants look big. These at least seem a bit more svelte. Icon’s come a long way, but I remain uninterested in their footwear.

    • Apple

      The Truants definitely look nicer

  • Blu E Milew

    How indicative is this “twist test”? My Sidi boots (Vetrigo) twist just as easily as sneakers, but I like to think they are legitimate motorcycle boots. I would think road boots prioritize impact and heel protection over twisting, like an offroad boot would. Thoughts?

  • grindz145

    Yes! This is what I’ve been hoping for. A little beefier might be good, but this is the first motorcycle shoe that both looks decent and I actually feel would have enough protection to feel OK about. I am buying these.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      They’re beefier than you’d think, you wouldn’t really want any more protection from them.

      • grindz145

        Perfect.

  • Jay

    I’ve got the TCX X-Streets, which look lower profile than these and are very comfortable for walking around. Paired with jeans they’re indistinguishable from sneakers. HOWEVER, I don’t know how much I’d want to crash in them. If these are as protective as they sound, I might have to look into them. Good to see some legit protection in a casual looking shoe.

    • bammerburn

      I have a pair of TCX X-Streets, too, and I share the same opinion. I’d like to see more development (better equilibrium between safety and aesthetics) in this area of shoe design.

  • Guzzto

    I have the stylemartin ‘seattle’ which are great around town, these look like they go a bit taller. Good price too. (nice dog btw)

    • contender

      That’s a new brand to me, and those looks pretty good. Thanks for the heads’ up.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Aaaand Revzilla is sold out of every size!

    They must love it when you guys review stuff!

  • Joe Levee

    How much wear did you give the WPs? The issue I have is I ride daily & also walk a lot, so I tend to wear my boots all day long. In the past items that are more sneaker like, tend to wear down the treads & lose traction faster than Id like.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I ride bikes and walk around all day, in the same clothes. They’ll last as long as a normal pair of sneakers, a year or so.

  • Speedo007

    Great looking shoes/boots. I’d buy a pair, but not sure how durable these will be “Two of the metal loops that hold the laces have popped out a little after just a few weeks of wear.”

  • MotoEnthusiast

    Awesome. Can we get a similar write up (great protection yet casual) for motorcycle pants?

    • Dan

      Dainese yamato pants.

  • Generic42

    Pleasantly surprised at the price point, I’m going to order a pair I think. Any comment on the width? I have a long (11.5) narrow foot

  • sileighty

    How’s the sizing on these?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      True to size. I wear a size 10 New Balance and these 10s fit perfect.

  • stever

    Well that is all fine for Mr Tuff Dude Los Angeles, but that he has a good point about objective standards for safety gear. The European Union–the “E” in “CE-Rated”–has standards for abrasion-resistance and impact protection for jackets and pants, but do they have it for boots? Surely you know someone over there in the motorcycle industry from your exciting life abroad who can shed some light on that.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Look at standards like that as a guide, not a rule. Most of the Dainese, TCX and similar “riding” sneakers out there just aren’t going to provide protection. All you have to do is handle them for 10 seconds and apply some deductive reasoning to see that.

    • Thatmanstu

      Anything and everything legally sold in Europe is CE approved,which can simply mean it meets labeling/packaging standards all the way up to actual performance standards….. What the standard(performance,safety,labeling,materials, etc…) actually is for a motorcycle boot I could not say.

  • Blu E Milew

    As an engineer this intrigues me and I want to learn, but not the hard way. I haven’t tried on many roadrace boots, but they all seem fairly thin in pictures (Thin sole=less torsional stiffness?). When I switch over to Crossfires, it feels almost like being in a cast/brace.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Depends on what’s in that thin sole. But I’m intrigued as well.

      • BmwofDenver Parts

        SIDI boots are manufactured with structural composite inner soles- fiberglass. this is to prevent/react to the twisting or “taco” effect you mention.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Thin soles with a heavy duty plastic, steel or similar reinforcement right up the middle, plus heavy armor across the toe, heel, ankle, shin and often the middle of the foot.

  • Daniel

    Unrelated observation: The Cortech Vice 2.0s look like Raver Sicuro knock offs…

  • Mark D

    That’s a great price, but something about navy blue hi-tops makes me think of back-to-school and paper routes.

  • Piglet2010

    I would miss having a heel lift, unless I was riding a scooter (fun) or a cruiser with floor-boards (yuck).